The five original Big Bang Theory cast members have reportedly offered to take a pay cut so their newer co-stars can have a rise.
The five originals – Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg — are now understood to take home $1 million (£800,000) per episode for their work on the CBS sitcom.
Co-stars Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, who joined in season three and became main cast members during season four, are believed to earn a much smaller $200,000 (£160,000) per episode.
According to Variety, each of the originals has offered to take a $100,000 (£80,000) per episode pay cut to free up extra money for Bialik and Rauch during seasons 11 and 12 of The Big Bang Theory. This would provide enough extra money for the two actresses to take home $450,000 (£360,000) an episode – more than double their current salary.
Bialik and Rauch’s salary negotiations with CBS are said to be underway now. It is not known whether they will hold out for a deal that puts their per-episode pay closer to that of their co-stars.
It has long been rumoured that the cast of another huge US sitcom, Friends, joined together to secure a $1 million per episode salary each during the show’s later seasons. When Friends began in 1994, they took home $20,000 £16,000) per episode each. Lisa Kudrow is said to have spearheaded the successful joint negotiations.